Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I am very excited for Thanksgiving break! I get almost a whole week off school! Then it’s only three more weeks until Winter Vacation!
I have some interesting news to share with you all today. White Nose Syndrome has had a devastating impact on bat populations for the past thirteen years. Just recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a challenge for anyone to participate in. The challenge is simple, any individuals or teams who find innovative ways to permanently eradicate, weaken, or disarm the White Nose Disease will receive $100,000 in funding. As of now, there is no known cure for White Nose Syndrome. Some ideas that have helped in the past include gates installed at the mouth of caves to ensure that people keep out as to not disturb the bats and also to keep the fungus from being tracked into the caves. Another idea came from researchers at Western Connecticut State University in the form of a method to find the fungus faster.
On November 20 from 2-3 p.m. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service held a webinar to provide more information about the challenge. The deadline to enter the challenge is December 31. The winning idea will be used by scientists, designers, and engineers in the future to help the bats. Hopefully something will work soon, and we can help the bats regrow in numbers.
Illustration by Kim O'Keefe